Sustainability in Theatre.
Bedik, Shai Troy.
- Sustainability is increasingly becoming relevant to all areas of human activity, not only industry and home, but the arts as well. Theatre is inherently wasteful event. Large sets and costumes are built specifically for a production, only to be thrown out when the show is over. The aim of this thesis is to explore the different options that theatre has to reduce its carbon footprint, its waste, an... read mored to promote the process of recycling in the production process. The first chapter discusses the evolution of the American environmental movement, bookmarked by two large scale media works, Rachel Carson's landmark book Silent Spring, published in 1962 and Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, produced in 2006. Both these works caused a major shift in environmental awareness. Exploring the policies and attitudes over this strain of time will give the reader a sense of where the theatre fits into the larger environmental movement that has occurred over the past 50 years. It will then move to demonstrate where theatre fits into the environmental movement. Theatre is a large industry with the heart of an individual. It is a constantly growing and changing art form and has the power to change in a sustainable direction. The second chapter is an amalgamation of green theatre practices, from a variety of sources. This chapter includes ideas for going green in set design and construction, costume design and construction, lighting, and theatrical venues. It also contains a detailed look at the Tufts drama department through interviews with the design and technical faculty. This establishes exactly what the department is doing in their specialties, with recommendations on how to improve sustainability in both the short-term and the long-term. The most important changes for each department are; a welding room in the scene shop to work with steel and other metals, special attention paid to dry cleaning for the costume shop, an understanding of how we are using energy for the light shop, and an overall increase in storage for the drama department. The third chapter traces the efforts of New York and London to promote sustainability on Broadway and in the West End. It includes an interview with the Broadway Green Alliance (BGA), a subset of The Broadway League, an extended look at the Green Theatre Programme in London, and the Arcola Theatre's efforts to build a new, sustainable theatre space. This chapter compares and contrasts two different strategies to change theatre. The first is the grassroots approach of the BGA and the second is the government approach of London. The conclusion is that the BGA, with its grassroots organization, is a more effective method than that of London's. Both these cities serve as a model for other theatres and, due to the large trickle-down effect of theatre; the efforts made in major metropolises will then be seen in smaller regional theatres in the future.read less